An off-day on the ice for Canada’s under-18 hockey team grew out of hand quickly.
Joey Anderson and Logan Brown both scored twice in a six-goal first period as the United States routed Canada 10-3 on Sunday in the bronze medal game of the world under-18 hockey championship in Grand Forks, N.D.
The Canadians were coming off a 6-5 shootout loss to Sweden on Saturday night and faced a quick turnaround against the U.S.
Head coach Shaun Clouston says Canada’s loss is very disappointing.
“There was some fatigue. I think emotionally the guys were really drained,” Clouston said in a post-game phone interview. “I think as much as you want to refocus and turn the page and get ready, I think coming as close as we did yesterday and not getting there I think affected everybody.”
The Americans were the defending champions and had won the tournament in seven of the last eight years, but fell to Finland in the semifinals on Saturday. Finland went on to beat Sweden 6-1 Sunday for gold.
Clouston opted to go with goaltender Stuart Skinner instead of Evan Fitzpatrick, who had made 29 saves in Saturday’s loss. Things didn’t start Skinner’s way on Sunday, as he allowed goals to Anderson, Brown and Kieffer Bellows on his first three shots of the game.
“Once the U.S. got rolling a little bit, there was just a lot of emotion and frustration in our game,” Clouston said. “I think the guys wanted it to happen but emotionally were not able to come back down and do the things we had done so well up until today.”
Nicholas Pastujov, Zachary Walker, Kailer Yamamoto, William Lockwood and Griffin Luce supplied the rest of the offence for the Americans.
William Bitten had a first-period goal for Canada before Connor Hall and Owen Tippett responded in the third.
Jake Oettinger made 31 saves for the win in net. Fitzpatrick replaced Skinner in net after the third U.S. goal and turned aside 23-of-30 shots in 52:32.
The Americans were 3 for 9 on the power play while Canada was scoreless on seven opportunities with the man advantage.